Strengthening indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations.
Indigenous and tribal peoples and ethnic minorities are among the poorest and most marginalized people in the world. They are disproportionately represented among the rural poor. Many of the poorest groups of indigenous peoples are difficult to reach through mainstream development programmes.
Several recent studies show that in some parts of the world, the poverty gap between indigenous peoples and other rural populations is increasing. Indigenous peoples are often disempowered by a lack of recognition of their cultural and socio-political systems. This undermines their social capital and their ability to shape their future.
The Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility is an innovative funding instrument that indigenous communities can use to find solutions to the challenges they face. The objective of the Facility is to strengthen indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations. It finances small projects that foster self-driven development within the framework of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Facility then generates lessons learned and approaches for replication and scaling up.
IPAF supports projects designed and implemented by indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations through small grants of up to US$50,000. Supported projects build on indigenous peoples’ culture, identity, knowledge and natural resources.
IPAF is co-managed at the regional level by indigenous peoples’ organizations and is governed by a six-person board made up of four indigenous peoples’ representatives from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia; one representative from UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and one representative from IFAD.